• European Union/United Kingdom - European Council Presents Draft Brexit Negotiation Guidelines
  • May 10, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • As a preliminary response to the United Kingdom’s notification of its exit from the European Union, the President of the European Council presented draft negotiation guidelines for the exit plan. The guidelines are subject to approval by the European Council, which is expected to occur on April 29.

    Similar to the UK government’s approach, the European Council’s main objective is to minimize the uncertainty created by Brexit for EU/UK citizens and businesses in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    The draft guidelines state that the European Union seeks to maintain the United Kingdom as a close partner in the future and any agreement will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations.

    Other key points of the guidelines include:
    • Any agreement on the future relationship between the European Union and United Kingdom can only be concluded once the Brexit process is concluded.
    • Reciprocal guarantees of EU and UK citizens and their families will be a priority for the negotiations, and such guarantees must be enforceable and non-discriminatory.
    • The European Union commits to recognize bilateral agreements between the European Union and the United Kingdom that are compatible with EU law, specifically agreements between the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United Kingdom and Cyprus.
    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The European Union agrees with the UK position that until a withdrawal agreement is concluded, the United Kingdom will have to comply with EU legislation. This means that EU nationals in the United Kingdom will maintain their residence, work and free movement rights until that time.

    Stricter immigration controls between the European Union and the United Kingdom are likely once the United Kingdom is no longer an EU country, but that will be decided at a later stage.